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The View From Reality

climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

President Barack Obama made a personal appearance on The View earlier this week. Of course, I did not see it, however, it was all over just about all of the other news shows and news channels. So let's ask some basic questions. Was this the best use of the president's time? Is this all we have for the president to do?

Of course the answers are no. The decision to go on there was pure political. Politics is the basis for all of the decisions that the president makes, so why should this one be any different? I agree with the governor of Pennsylvania when he said that the president should be treating the office with more respect and dignity. We should all agree with that statement.

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All Aboard!?

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

The Secretary of transportation was in Wisconsin last week. He and Governor Jim Doyle were making pronouncements about the so-called high speed train is coming to Wisconsin. Although there is a lot of opposition to it, they are proclaiming that it cannot be stopped.

Their approach to this message indicates that we are having another public program shoved down our throats whether we like it or not. And we don't. There cannot be a better example of mis-spending by the government at the federal level causing dissatisfaction at the state level and trying to render everyone helpless.

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IGNORANCE = PREJUDICE

More criticism of President Barack Obama is motivated by prejudice than we care to admit to ourselves.  We are prone to take snippets of information and see each snippet as a support to our already-decided prejudices.  Of course we cannot admit them to ourselves because we are uncomfortable seeing ourselves that way.  We all do it, to a certain extent.  But those with the strongest feelings on most subjects are often the most bigoted, the most patriotic, and the most hateful.  It is an extension of how "perfect" we see ourselves, and how threatened we are when our "facts" are proven to be wrong or full of prejudice.  We need only to look to the "biblical" defense of slavery, or the savage religious wars that have gone on between Christians and Jews, Protestants and Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics, Christians and Muslims, Jews and Muslims, and the absolutely "certain" actions by missionaries to others.  How about a dose of reality?

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded upon the Christian religion." -John Adams (1735-1826)

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The Summer of Recovery Nears the End

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

It seems like only yesterday when we were anticipating the advent of the summer of recovery. Now, it seems like summer is over. It's not because we've torn off several pages of our calendar, it's not because of the hot weather is gone, and it's not because the children are back in school already. It's because there is no summer recovery. It was all an illusion. It was like one of those happy dreams that we wake up from all too early.

It was too early for the Liberals anyway. They thought they had done all their heavy lifting and now all they have to do is walk around the country and bask in their accomplishments. We'll accomplishments don't mean that we have achieved the results that this country needs-we are not back on the right track. We are still very much on the wrong track.

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RIGHTS & RITES

Do you wholeheartedly support the U.S. Constitution?  Are all American citizens guaranteed equal rights?  Should any one person or one group be able to foist their beliefs on another?  Do gays have just as many rights as straights?  Do gay people have the same rights in marriage as others?  Do you believe the definition of marriage is a religious or legal responsibility?  Do you believe gay people choose to be gay?  Or are they born that way?  If you think people make a choice to be gay, how do you explain that there are gays throughout the animal kingdom?  Science has proven that people are born with an attraction to the same sex, so why do you differ?  The majority of people in the world are not Christians, so why should we force a certain type of Christianity on others in the U.S.?  Should the majority be able to restrict the rights of minorities?  Only a small minority of people are born with red hair; should we restrict them in any way?  Only a minority of people are born left-handed; should we restrict them in any way?  In your mind, did God create people who are left-handed, with red hair, or gay?  Who determines what restrictions, if any, should be placed on gay people?  In a democracy, what equal rights do gays have with others?  Why would you limit rights to just certain, specific minorities?  Should a minority be protected from a majority?  In your mind, what, specifically, is different about two gay people marrying?  Would you be opposed to two gay people marrying if they were of different sexes?  What is it about gay marriage that is different in your mind?  Just because you use a religious book to make your point about gay marriage, should that legally be interpreted that way for non-believers?  Who gave you the right to decide in a democracy?  Do you know that one of the main characteristics of a democracy is the protection of the rights of minorities?  What, in your mind, is worse: gay marriage or pedophilia?  If you prefer civil unions instead of marriage for gays, what restrictions would you put on the individuals in a civil union?  Are nations that give legal approval to gay marriage any more immoral than nations that do not?  What actual statistics can you show to indicate gay parents are anymore less fit to raise children than straight parents?  With the divorce rate in the U.S. now over 50%, are you still saying that straight marriage is better than gay marriage?  Would you treat your gay child any differently than your straight child?  How deeply have you researched this subject?  Would you treat a gay married couple living next door to you differently than a straight couple?  How many straight couples do you know who stay together in marriage for convenience, or because of social pressures, or for religious reasons?  Have your religious leaders given specific evidence to support their contention that straight marriage is better than gay marriage?  Should a gay partner be kept from making final decisions concerning a committed partner's last rights and other last-moment decisions?  Should a gay teacher hide his/her sexual orientation from his/her students?  Should a straight teacher do the same?  Should a gay person be given all the rights of a straight person to serve in the military to defend this country?  Have you ever had a deep conversation on this topic with a gay person?  Or are you uncomfortable discussing such things with a gay person?  Does it make you at all uncomfortable that gays have certain restrictions placed on them in the U.S. that are not placed on straight people?  Do you think that gay people are a threat to children?  Do you think that gay people are more immoral than straight people?  Where would you go to have a serious discussion on this subject with someone else?  Are you ambivalent on this subject, choosing to ignore it and hope it goes away?  How many gay people do you know...well?  If you draw your conclusions on this subject from the Bible, do you follow some statements in the Bible that children or parents should kill family members who do not follow antiquated biblical principles?  Why is this different?  Why do you select out certain biblical passages and not others?

A Foodie in Singapore

My husband and I set out on a trip to Singapore, Malaysia and India in Spring 2010.  Our travel to Singapore was through a 16 hour non-stop flight to Hong Kong. I decided to have a relaxing time by reading, watching the map route of our flying direction, watching great movies and getting up to walk almost every two hours. The pilot came on and said, we were going to fly over Canada, Arctic Ocean, Russia, Mongolia, and Beijing to Hong Kong! I was watching our air route map in the monitor and was tickled wondering about the people who live in the various areas.

We were transit passengers in Hong Kong. After several security checks we had time to freshen up and have coffee. Then we took a 3 hour flight to Singapore. We arrived in Singapore around midnight after almost 30 hours of travel since we left home from Milwaukee.

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Sewer backups are not new – but we need NEW THINKING to stop them in the future --- Part One

Sewage Backup, Shorewood, TIF, BID, Backflow Preventers, Basement Flooding, Raw Sewage, Government Priorities, Property Values, Floods, MMSD

I like many of you had the privilege of having sewer backups in my basement on the 14th and 22nd of last month.

 

I attended the “sewer” meeting in Shorewood last Thursday to learn what the officials from the Village and MMSD intended to do about stopping the raw sewage from coming into people’s homes.

 

What I learned is that the Village government and the MMSD had nothing new to say --- rather they put on a “dog and pony show” about the history of the sewage backups, and what has been done in the past.

 

I almost laughed out loud when the Shorewood DPW director went as far back as the 1980’s in regards to recalling the history of the sewage backups.  Obviously this problem is History --- Not News!

 

The most obvious lesson that I and a hundred or so other citizens learned was that the officials not only do not have any good plans to stop future sewage backups --- but they cannot even agree on what is currently being done.

 

I brought up the disconnection of downspouts.  Shorewood has fought the disconnection of downspouts for over 12 years that I know of --- and only recently has started to allow them.

 

This is despite the all the publicity that MMSD has put out that disconnecting downspouts is a very good thing, and takes pressure off the entire system.  Somehow MMSD’s PR Machine did not reach the consciousness of the Shorewood Village officials.

 

Another thing that MMSD has been promoting are BACKFLOW PREVENTERS!

 

Not that the MMSD official at last Thursday’s meeting got it right --- he was talking down the backflow preventers, despite his own agency endorsing and even paying for them.

 

Following are exerts from articles and websites of what MMSD thinks about the Backflow Preventers:

 

FROM GLENDALE NOW.COM

MMSD could provide funds to prevent sewage backups

Direct connections to interceptor targeted

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Russ Feingold Thinks You're an Idiot

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

When it comes to predicting the outcome of the Senate race in Wisconsin this fall, it is currently considered a tossup. This of course means that there will be a plethora of advertising between now and November 2. And as the case is with all political advertising, the facts are being twisted so that you draw a different conclusion from what actually has occurred in the past few years. Like all progressives, Russ Feingold is banking on you not paying attention to what he has been doing and only basing your judgment on his performance on what he will spoon feed you through his ads.

Senator Feingold is coming out with advertising saying that he is on your side. When did this start? When he pulled into the studio to record some advertisements? Feingold wants you to think that he was going against the Democrat caucus by voting against the financial reform bill that recently passed. Actually, Feingold do not think that the bill regulated enough. And when Democrats seek more oversight, it usually means saying goodbye to some of your freedom and liberty.

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SELECTIVE EQUALITY

[Note please: may I call on the liberal/progressive readers of my blog to stand back and remain silent for awhile.  I want to learn what the conservative/right-wingers have to comment without their feeling the necessity to respond to others who leave comments.  I want to have a chance to hear them clearly.   Therefore, be considerate in only making comments pertinent to this specific blog post. Thank you.]  

The furor over a Islamic community center being built somewhat near the site of the 9-11 terrorist bombing in New York City is confusing to behold.  I understand the deep feelings of the victims families, but once again we have others who are patriotic "posers" speaking up with insane comments.  Please stop and think.  When we limit one person or one group from equality, we are on a slippery slope.

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Coyotes Creating a Stir

coyote, fox, department of natural resources

Most people move to Bayside to experience a peaceful, natural environment while still being close to all of the activities a city like Milwaukee can offer.  We are not the only ones that enjoy this environment.  Predatory animals are not an uncommon sight.  Wisconsin is home to wolves, coyotes and several species of fox.  Southeastern Wisconsin, including Bayside, makes an ideal home for both the fox and coyote.

Recent headlines drew attention to the importance of recognizing the impact these animals may have on our lives.  Coyotes and fox are omnivorous and highly opportunistic.  They will eat dead animals (which helps prevent the spread of disease), birds, rabbits and mice, as well as berries and seeds.  Although it is uncommon, both the fox and coyote may prey on a domesticated cat or dog if it is presented the chance.

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Allah is Fine with Obama

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

It often seems like President Barack Obama needs to do little else to prove to the American people that he is completely out of touch with them. I don't personally know anyone who was killed on Sep 11, 2001 in the terrorist attacks in New York City. I believe rebuilding the towers is taking too long and there is far too much emphasis on the memorial process to try to appease the people who lost loved ones. However, building a mosque two blocks away from the Ground Zero site is a slap in the face to every American. I find the president's comments completely offensive.

According to the administration, the Americans should be tolerant of the Moslems. Well, we can be, but it doesn't mean that they should be building a mosque two blocks away from the site where extremist Islamic radicals destroyed a symbol of America. So why is it that tolerance can only be defined when the Americans give up their freedoms and liberties for someone else's? New York Governor Paterson even offered to provide a different site. But, because the administration does not like him and wants to kick him out of office, that idea was completely shot down. Shot down like the towers.

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ELECTION BUFFOONERY

We are already well into campaign rhetoric, TV ads, mailings, press releases, speeches, etc.  The political party out of office always seems to know much better how to run the nation.  But this time there is no question who got us into the mess we find ourselves today in the U.S.  The Republicans showed they do not know how to run the nation and even more obvious is their misuse of power.

While the Democrats do not represent the common man, though I wish they did, the Republicans have definitely been taken over by war and greed corporations.  There is no room for honest democracy in either party.  While the conservatives attempt to unify their party behind a mantra of lower taxes, reducing the debt, limiting government, stopping illegal immigration, and flying the U.S. flag all over the world, the liberals, as usual, are fighting among themselves.

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The Senate Race Heats Up?

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

Although quite predictable, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been running stories about the Senate race here in Wisconsin that are not exactly objective. And in true liberal fashion, if you're not in lockstep with the progressive agenda, you're considered a mouth breathing troglodyte.

Ron Johnson came out in favor of believing that humans are not the sole cause of our changing environment. Yet all the lefties who believe in evolution, somehow want you to believe that the sun and the earth have stopped changing except for the forces of man. And the forces of man burning fossil fuels and exhaling carbon dioxide are poisoning the ecosystem that has been evolving for millions of years yet stopped about 10,000 years ago.

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WFB flooding .. where are we going?

Deluge, Trustees, Village Hall, Village Board

The WFB NOW article, "Residents question leadership on flooding" explains the frustration many villagers have after the July rain events that caused so much damage.  I'll take a shot at explaining what the Village has done over the past weeks, and where it is going.

First, I'll to suggest there are two aspects to this issue.  The first is communication.  The second is action.

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Shorewood Village Board Meeting on Sewage Backups this coming Monday follows Whitefish Bay Board Meeting of last Monday --- Will there be any Differences in Action or In-

Sewage Backup, Shorewood, Government Priorities, Whitefish Bay Board and Village Manager Performance, Shorewood Village Board and Village Manager Performance

The Whitefish Bay Board had a post sewage flooding meeting on August 16th.

According to reports, the Bay citizens are thoroughly fed up with their elected officials, and Village Manager Grassman, for lack of action in preventing the sewage backups and the lack of direction in preventing future ones.

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RELIGIOUS SMORGASBORD

Our religous arrogance and confusion come forth every time we show our rush to judgment about someone else's religion.  The world is loaded with self-proclaimed members of a wide menu of religions.  The actions throughout history by religious people have left millions of dead bodies scattered around the world.  Religion and war have become regular bed partners.  We judge, therefore we kill. 

One measure of the honesty and truth of religious self-proclaiming is in the continuing number of people around the world who go to bed hungry, have no access to clean water, have no health care, etc.  Yet the wealth, the clearly measured wealth of the world has increased immensely.  Where is there religion put into action?  Why are there still billions of people in the world living is such squalor?  It is easy to simply toss it off as, "there fault." 

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Barry Needs a Vacation

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

Coming off his vacation in the Gulf Coast, President Obama heads up to Martha's Vineyard for another much-needed vacation. All is well in America. All as well if we believe our president. President Obama promised us that he would not rest until the economy had recovered. President Obama promised he would not rest until the Gulf Coast had been restored to its original beauty. President Obama promised us that he would not rest until everyone who is looking for a job can find one. Now that he is resting, we can put a checkmark in the completed column for these issues. If condition B. occurs, that means condition A has been met, right? Perhaps were not supposed to include math or logic in these postings.

In another week or so, the president will be back touring the country at taxpayer expense to raise money for Democrats. The administration wants to dupe America into believing we should reelect your Democrats. The Americans will have to be duped because as we have seen, we cannot use logic to believe that the Democrats have put into place some policies that have actually worked.

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NAZISM, FASCISM: RIGHT-WING

I have spoken to large and small audiences across Europe from east to west, and throughout North America on the subject of right-wing Nazism and fascism, and the American corporations who lifted Hitler to power.  Further, I played my interviews of politicians and other leaders from the Nazi time on my radio talk show.  It is near impossible to reduce this subject to the space here, but here is my best, condensed attempt...

"We stand for the maintenance of private property...We shall protect free enterprise as the most expedient, or rather the sole possible economic order." -Adolf Hitler

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GATHERING STORM

Glen Beck and Sarah Palin didn't start it.  They are just the latest example of right-wing extremism, and it has been present in the U.S. for well over a century.  But it has learned to hone its presentation to sound more acceptable to the American people.  Henry Ford wrote in his "Dearborn Independent" that Fascism, Nazism, and Hitler were all preferable to growing left-wing power.  Greed capitalism saw in labor unions and voices of the people a danger to their protected place in American society.  Actually, since the Industrial Revolution there has been an ongoing struggle between greed capitalism and left-wing movements.  Child labor, tax breaks, slave wages, etc. were the expressions of greed capitalists.  Forced equality and socialism were expressions of extreme left-wingers.

However the right-wing political movement in the U.S. has refined its approach.  They have had to mask their intentions in order to sell the American people on right-wing extremism.  Terms like Fascism and Nazism were seen as foreign and enemy sounding.  Cloaking it in God and patriotism worked better here.  And so at least since Ronald Reagan's presidency, right-wing politics has tried to present itself as God-fearing, patriotically American, etc.  It has snuck under the radar until now it feels comfortable openly challenging minorities and left-wing thought.  Unless it is forced to unmask, it will survive and thrive.  The Tea Party movement is tailor-made for God and patriotism.

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Attack (on) the Economy

Business, climate change, County Government, Election, Energy, Government, Health Care, News, Politics, Presidential Politics, Reform, Religion, Smoking, taxes

Are we getting mixed messages from the Obama administration? It seems like only a couple months ago, Vice President Joe Biden was out talking this as Recovery Summer. More recently, President Barack Obama, fresh off a two-week vacation in which he could ignore his constituency and concentrate more on what the polls are telling us, comes out and says he needs to do a full scale attack on the economy. What would this attack do? Is he trying to make it worse? From what we have seen in the past two years, I think he is.

The Democrats who still want to be associated with the president, are telling us that we cannot go back to the policies of the previous administration. In their next breath, the defender failing economic policies of the present administration by saying that it took eight years to mess things up, how can we make things better in only two? This line of thinking of course assumes that you are so stupid that you have absolutely no memory and no knowledge of history. The first six years of the Bush administration were years of economic growth for most Americans. But, because the last two years lead to a recession and the financial crisis, all eight years are being blamed for leading up to what happened.

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